CORONAVIRUS IN NY STATE: 540 new deaths lowest number in 2 weeks; Cuomo says state may be 'past the plateau' of hospitalizations

1010 WINS Newsroom
April 18, 2020 - 11:43 am

    NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo reported the lowest number of new coronavirus deaths in New York state in two weeks Saturday, but he warned the number of new hospitalizations was still near 2,000—a number that has barely budged all week.

    There were 540 deaths on Friday, Cuomo said. That's the first time the number has dropped below 550 since April 1.

    There have now been at least 12,732 deaths across the state related to the coronavirus. There have been 229,642 cases in the state as of Saturday.

    Coronavirus numbers 4/18
    Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Office

    Cuomo said the number of intubations had also dropped by 48 Friday and the number of hospitalizations had dropped by 349.

    "We're down for several days now," Cuomo said. "If you look at the past three days, you could argue that we're past the plateau and we're starting to descend."

    But new hospitalizations continued to be a problem, with 1,915 more people hospitalized Friday.

    The number of new hospitalizations has been hovering around 2,000 for about a week but has dropped since its peak a couple weeks ago.

    Cuomo said it's "sobering news" and shows "happy days are not here again."

    "We still had about 2,000 people yesterday who were new admissions to a hospital," Cuomo said. "If it wasn't for the relevant context that we're in, this would be devastating news."

    Coronavirus numbers 4/18
    Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Office

    Cuomo and President Donald Trump tussled over wide-scale coronavirus testing Friday, with the governor arguing the federal government needs to step up and the president saying Cuomo should stop complaining and start working.

    The dust-up started during the governor’s daily briefing, when he said the federal government was doing too little to help states reopen their outbreak-stricken economies by making sure they can perform mass diagnostic testing.

    “The federal government cannot wipe its hands of this and say, ‘Oh, the states are responsible for testing.’ We cannot do it. We cannot do it without federal help,” he said.

    Within a half-hour, Trump was tweeting about it.

    “Governor Cuomo should spend more time “doing” and less time “complaining”. Get out there and get the job done. Stop talking!” Trump tweeted.

    The president said the federal government came through on ventilators and thousands of hospital beds for New York, yet Cuomo seemed ungrateful.

    Cuomo and Trump have clashed intermittently over the federal response to the outbreak. But Friday’s flare-up was unusual for playing out during the course of one of Cuomo’s widely watched briefings. A reporter read Trump’s tweets to Cuomo, and the governor responded with his own barbs.

    “How many times do you want me to say thank you?” Cuomo asked. “I’m saying thank you for doing your job.”

    At his news briefing Saturday, Cuomo said the state needed to bring testing "up to scale" and that it needed the federal government's help in getting state labs the supplies they needed.

    The governor said leaders needed to unify to beat the virus: "It is a tumultuous time as we have ever seen but in a situation like this it is now time for politics."

    Later, when asked about a potential increase in divorces amid widespread stay-at-home orders, Cuomo said: "I think the divorce rate is going up, marriage rate is going down."

    He announced that he is signing an executive order allowing people to get their marriage licenses online and clerks to perform ceremonies remotely.

    "There's no excuse," Cuomo said. "You can get married on Zoom."

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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